INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Hoosiers will be able to purchase alcoholic beverages today at grocery stores, liquor stores, convenience stores and pharmacies for the first time on a Sunday in Indiana history.
Wine, liquor and beer purchases are now legal statewide on Sunday between the hours of 12 and 8 p.m. following the repeal of Indiana’s ban on Sunday carryout alcohol sales. The ban was first instated in 1816 and ended Wednesday with Gov. Eric Holcomb’s signing of Senate Bill 1.
The new law has prompted major retailers, including Kroger, to make staffing changes and cash register software upgrades at Indiana stores.
“We have changed the cash registers so they will be operating from 12 to 8 [p.m.],” explained Eric Halvorson, a spokesperson for Kroger. “And if somebody does come through trying to purchase outside of that window, the cash register will say, ‘Not for sale.'”
The company looks forward to eliminating confusion and embarrassment for customers new to Indiana or visiting from out of state, he added, saying he also expected some local shoppers to feel “relieved” they would no longer need to schedule grocery shopping trips around the ban on Sunday alcohol sales.
One Kroger customer who visited the Carmel store on Saturday said he planned to return the following afternoon to purchase alcohol on Sunday simply “because [he] can.”
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WACO, Texas (KXAN) – Less than a day after a deadly shootout between five biker gangs at a Twin Peaks in Waco, corporate officials for the chain restaurant say they are revoking its franchise agreement.
“We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are revoking their franchise agreement immediately,” said Twin Peaks’ corporate officials in a statement. “Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful on employees, guests, police officers of bystanders were hurt or injured.”
Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton says the shooting could have been prevented by restaurant management. The shooting left nine people dead and 18 others injured.- a shooting Swanton says is now considered a capital murder case “because of the number of people killed in one episode.”
At last count, Swanton says 170 people have been arrested and are in the process of being booked and charged with engaging in organized crime in connection to the shooting.
Swanton says the details of the charges are still being worked out, but everyone is in the process of being booked on charges of engaging in organized crime.
“What happened here today could have been avoided,” Swanton told the media during a news conference. He went on to say that police alerted the restaurant to the threat of violence and that the manager was asked to discontinue “bike night.”
Swanton says police presence has been at that Twin Peaks for about two months now, adding that this incident wasn’t the first Sunday that they’d been out there.
“They were aware that there were issues here. We have been working with management here – to no avail. And I have to say: That was local management here,” said Swanton. “We told them of the issues. We tried to get assistance from them in dealing with this crowd, but they would not cooperate … There was a statement that local management put out last night that was absolute fabrication. It was a lie.”
Jay Patel, operating partner of the Twin Peaks Waco franchise, offered up a statement on Facebook.
“We are horrified by the criminal, violent acts that occurred outside of our Waco restaurant today. We share in the community’s trauma. Our priority is to provide a safe and enjoyable environment for our customers and employees, and we consider the police our partners in doing so. Our management team has had ongoing and positive communications with the police, and we will continue to work with them as we all want to keep violent crime out of our businesses and community. We will continue to cooperate with the police as they investigate this terrible crime.”
Swanton doesn’t agree.
“We feel like they could’ve done more. We feel like that they did not take our advice and try to keep the bike groups from being here,” said Swanton on Sunday after the shooting. “They absolutely have a right to refuse service to people that may be a harm to their patrons and employees. They didn’t do that, and today is the ultimate aftermath of what their decision was.”
Swanton says that the police department has had officers in plain clothes – in large numbers – at the restaurant for the past two months. He also said there have been several arrests stemming from incidents at Twin Peaks, most of them minor skirmishes, warrant arrests and arrests of that nature.
“As of about a week ago, we were in contact with the national management of Twin Peaks because we were getting no cooperation locally, and we were going to them for assistance,” said Swanton. “People have civil rights. Until a law is broken, there’s nothing we can do if we don’t have management to support – to assist us – in keeping individuals out of a business. There’s nothing we can do until a law is broken.”
No bystanders were hurt, despite another packed restaurant just 25 feet from the gun battle.
As bikers from across the state began to pour into town Sunday afternoon, Waco police decided to close the mall where the restaurant is located.
While five different gangs are believed to be involved in the fight, officers on scene said it appeared some of the gangs appeared to be in alliance with one another.
Twin Peaks corporate statement
“We are in the people business, and the safety of the employees and guests in our restaurants is priority one. Unfortunately, the management team of the franchised restaurant in Waco chose to ignore the warnings and advice from both the police and our company, and did not uphold the high security standards we have in place to ensure everyone is safe at our restaurants. We will not tolerate the actions of this relatively new franchisee and are revoking their franchise agreement immediately. Our sympathies continue to be with the families of those who died and are very thankful on employees, guests, police officers of bystanders were hurt or injured.”
TABC bans alcohol sales at Waco Twin Peaks
Under a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission mandate, the restaurant shut down its alcohol sales for the next seven days as the investigation continues into the shooting that left nine people dead and at least 18 people injured – an investigation that has included biker gang death threats made against uniformed officers. Still, Waco police is urging the restaurant to remain closed entirely – at least for the next week – out of respect for the incident.
“I can tell you that yesterday’s events started as bad guys on bad guys,” said Swanton. “When our officers got there and intervened in the active-shooter situation, those bad guys turned their hostility on our officers, which included Waco and DPS.”
Meanwhile, authorities continue to comb through evidence that spans a Central Texas shopping center, much of which is closed Monday morning due to the amount of evidence they have to go through. Some 50 weapons – including knives, brass knuckles, chains and clubs – have been recovered from the scene so far.
“These were bad-guy weapons. They ranged from brass knucks to knives to chains to clubs and to firearms,” said Swanton. “This was a true gang fight.”
It started with a fist fight in the bathroom of the restaurant near the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 6 Sunday afternoon in Waco. It spilled into the bar, where it quickly escalated into knife fight – and then out into the parking lot where a gun battle raged between five different biker gangs and heavily armed police.
Eight people died at the scene, and another person died at the hospital. Most of the injured either had stab wounds or gunshot wounds – or both. Two people had to be take out of the Waco area because of the severity of the injuries, and most of the others injured were taken to Scott & White Baylor Hillcrest.
“They had a little bit of an issue there as well, with individuals showing up, being threatening to staff, demanding answers and had some problems there,” said Swanton of the hospital situation.
Waco police are questioning hundreds of people.
“In 34 years of law enforcement, this is the most violent crime scene I have ever been involved in,” Swanton said. “There is blood everywhere.”
The altercation between biker gangs began just as churchgoers arrived at the Central Texas Marketplace for Sunday Lunch.
In anticipation of any problems, Waco police were already on scene when the violence broke out. Officers say bikers were attacking one another with chains, knives, bats, clubs and firearms.
“These are officers that ran into gunfire to protect our citizens, and they – without a doubt – did a hell of a job doing that yesterday, and we’re very proud of them. And again, we think that saved numerous lives,” said Swanton. “We were quickly able to gain control because of the number of officers we had here on scene. And we began calling for additional resources due to the large number of people that were there and the threat to not only our officers, but the citizens as well.”
It is still unclear if those killed and injured were hit by police gunfire or gunfire from the bikers involved.
“What I want you all to understand: This is not a bunch of doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys,” said Swanton on Sunday afternoon. “These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons that are members of a criminal biker gang, and we know who they are. We know which clubs that they’re with.”
Meanwhile, the shopping center is shut down from Cabela’s to Best Buy. The shopping center is open for business starting from Kohl’s.
Waco’s proximity to Austin and Dallas, by way of Interstate 35 and less-traveled highways, has made it a popular destination for bikers since the 1970s. The city has several biker bars on the outskirts bearing signs barring gang members from wearing “colors” inside.
Investigators in Waco say the gangs involved in Sunday’s violence were apparently in town in effort to recruit new members.
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo stance
Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo is jumping into the conversation. He posted the following on Twitter Sunday night:
“Waco today was textbook example of societal problem & illustrates need to give law enforcement tools to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.”
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Students at the University of Notre Dame who have been told for years to report sexual assaults cases to campus police have the option of reporting such cases directly to the St. Joseph County Special Victims Unit, a prosecutor said.
St. Joseph County Prosecutor Ken Cotter told the South Bend Tribune in a story published Sunday that he would prefer those cases be investigated by the unit made up of detectives drawn from South Bend, Mishawaka and county police who are trained in handling domestic violence, sex assault and child abuse cases.
“It just makes sense to me,” he said.
In an agreement among Notre Dame and local officials, the countywide Metro Homicide Unit would investigate a murder on campus, and the county Fatal Alcohol Crash Team would investigate a fatal traffic accident on campus, Cotter said. Notre Dame thus far has chosen not to participate in the SVU, although Cotter approached them with the idea after he was elected in November.
Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne said university officials acknowledge that county and state police have the prerogative to investigate crimes within their jurisdiction, which includes the ND campus.
The issue of college sexual assault has attracted national attention recently, in part because of a new documentary film, “The Hunting Ground,” which takes a critical look at the handling of sex assault cases at various campuses, including Notre Dame.
Cotter’s statements about cases being reported directly to the county are a departure from years of practice and advice to students about reporting procedures and the role of campus police. Just last month, in an email to the Notre Dame student body about support services for sex assault, a university administrator said reports should go to campus police.
“Students are strongly encouraged to consider reporting a sexual assault to the University and/or the police. Notre Dame Security Police is a duly authorized police agency in the state of Indiana, and is the law enforcement agency with which to file a report for any incident that occurred on Notre Dame property,” Erin Hoffmann Harding, the vice president for student affairs, wrote in the email.
The student handbook states: “If the incident occurred on Notre Dame property, NDSP, a duly authorized police agency in the state of Indiana, is the appropriate agency with which to file a report.”
A total of 30 sexual assaults, including 16 rapes, were reported at Notre Dame from 2011 to 2013, according to annual campus crime reports that colleges are required to make public under the federal Clery Act.
Cotter said he doesn’t know if NDSP officers use similar investigation methods to those used by the SVU.
“I know how we do it. I can’t tell you how Notre Dame does it,” Cotter said.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The cell phone video of a woman verbally attacking a Fort Wayne police officer has gone viral and now has about 300,000 hits in less than a week.
Wednesday, the officer involved, Officer Stephen Ealing sat down with WISH-TV’s sister station WANE and discussed what happened Sunday morning.
Ealing said although incidents like this one are part of the job, he feared for his safety.
“If you were there and you felt the tension in the air, I go ‘it was waiting for that one spark to explode’ and I’m like ‘I can’t give them that,'” said Ealing, “I’m by myself and this is going to end poorly and we’re out in the parking lot and who knows what’s in people’s cars.”
Officer Ealing repeatedly told Shana Hancock to leave IHOP early Sunday morning. Her blood alcohol level was 0.17.
After some arguing, the group eventually made it outside where Ealing tried to arrest her. About 50 people were in the parking lot that he referred to as a mob.
You can hear the man who was recording yelling comments like, “you’re doing this to another American” and telling the crowd, “Are you guys going to film or are you going to get over here and do something?”
“I didn’t know that this guy kept saying silly things like ‘this is an American’ and ‘this is America.’ I go ‘OK.’ Well, I just heard a bunch of shouting and angry people,” he said.
Ealing said the manager of IHOP was holding the door open to separate him and Hancock from the rest of the crowd.
“I was trying to control her and stay cognizant of the fact that there’s all these people in play as well,” he added.
Officer Ealing said officers are often recorded with cell phone video at scenes.
“Thank you, because without him filming me, then it would just be my side of the story versus everyone else’s side of the story,” said Ealing, “They weren’t doing anything to help the situation so I thank him for video taping that for me. It saves me a lot of work.”
Ealing said after leaving the scene Sunday, he knew that it was going to be posted online but he never would have expected this kind of attention.
“It really surprised me that all this is for me arresting somebody and I didn’t really do anything. I’m like there was angry people. We deal with that all day long.”
Ealing said he knows officers are under a microscope given national news, however, it’s important not to jump to conclusions.
“99 percent of police officers in America would have done exactly what I did. That’s how we’re trained. That’s how the academy trains us, that’s what we’re supposed to do. But there’s the one percent in any job that they probably don’t belong there. There’s one percent of teachers that don’t act appropriately. There’s one percent of fast food workers that can’t get the order right. There’s no silver bullet that’s going to fix all that,” said Ealing, “We’re not anything to be afraid of. We’re not anything to not be trusted. We’re here to serve you and protect you and we’re willing to do that all day, every day.”
In addition to arresting Hancock, the President of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said he is hoping that the other two involved in the video will be charged.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A chaotic video posted on social media involving a Fort Wayne police officer is getting attention from the community and the police department. The cell phone video captured a disagreement between a police officer and customers at IHOP early Sunday morning. One of those customers was eventually arrested.
The person who posted it is presumably trying to make the officer look bad. However, Chief Garry Hamilton of the Fort Wayne Police Department said he did the opposite.
Officer Stephen Ealing was working security at the IHOP on Coldwater Road. The video captures him telling the woman to leave the restaurant. According to police reports, she had a blood alcohol level of 0.17.
Once the group makes it outside, the officer tries to arrest her and her group continues to yell at him.
After hearing about the video, Chief Hamilton watched it Monday.
“I’m glad he posted it. It goes to show that the officer did his job, didn’t lose composure and the poor person who did get arrested, he didn’t help her case whatsoever,” said Chief Hamilton, “The Fort Wayne police officer should be commended. Large crowd, people disorderly, yelling and screaming at the officer, he had another individual trying to incite a riot to get other people to get involved in the officer attempting to do his job.”
You can later hear the sound of a taser in the video. Chief Hamilton said the officer used the sound to push the crowd back.
“That could have went really turn bad when you have two or three people coming after you so officers are trained, you gotta be aware of your surroundings,” said Chief Hamilton.
After calling for back up, Officer Ealing arrested the woman for public intoxication, disorderly conduct, resisting law enforcement, and physical and criminal mischief.
“All three should have been arrested for disorderly conduct but the one person the officer did arrest, I think he sent a message,” said Chief Hamilton.
Chief Hamilton acknowledges officers’ actions nationwide have been questionable.
“I believe people are very sensitive at what’s going on across the country and I don’t blame them,” said Chief Hamilton.
However, he said that the public can’t rush to judgment because this incident shows that his officer is well-trained.
“The officer acted accordingly, he did his job and he did it well,” said Chief Hamilton.
As of Monday afternoon, the woman was still in police custody.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A bill that would prohibit abortions based on gender or fetal disabilities such as Down syndrome will not receive a committee hearing in the House this session, lawmakers said Wednesday.
House Public Policy Committee Chairman Tom Dermody, R-LaPorte, said the committee spent much of this session on proposals to ease Indiana’s gambling laws and lift the state’s ban on Sunday carry-out alcohol sales.
With a Thursday deadline for bills to be voted out of committee, Dermody said he has chosen to focus on other issues that the committee could advance in a limited amount of time.
“We just are focused on a variety of topics and I picked bills that I thought we could move forward with,” he said.
Supporters of such a ban have said the measure is needed because some doctors encourage abortions after a fetus is diagnosed with developmental disabilities.
Opponents question how often doctors actually do that and maintained that such a law would prevent physicians from discussing all options with women after determining a fetus has developmental disabilities.
The Senate voted 35-15 in favor of the proposal in February.
Bill sponsor Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, said he doesn’t plan to take any further action with the measure now that it’s stalled in the House, though it could crop up again in future sessions.
“Without having it fully vetted in the house, it’s likely that the discussion will be saved for another day,” he said.
Dermody instead chose to have Public Policy Committee members hear testimony Wednesday on a proposal that would require the State Department of Health to adopt clear rules for how abortion facilities shall dispose of fetal remains.
It would also require health facilities to inform all pregnant women about their right to choose the final disposition of the child’s remains, as well as the options available for burial and cremation, and accessible counseling services.
Dermody said he plans to propose an amendment that will help clarify the definition of fetus in Indiana law since many raised concerns during the Senate hearing. The committee is set to vote on the proposal Thursday.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As the Final Four festivities come to a close, security officials are calling the weekend a success. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Homeland Security Deputy Chief Mike Bates said there were less than a dozen arrests downtown all weekend, most of them alcohol-related.
Security officials will meet next week to discuss what went well and what they can improve on.
Badger fan Josh Tilley says they got the job done.
“State troopers, local police, all the security they had,” Tilley said. “Really I had no issues whatsoever going into the different events.”
Tilley is one of tens of thousands who shuffled into the March Madness Music Fest. So many attended that organizers eventually stopped letting people in both Saturday and Sunday.
Bates says he expected the venue to reach capacity.
“It can hold a fair amount of people but when you add the tents and the stage and everything else, that reduces the number of people that can go in there,” he said.
In response to the Saturday crowds for Rhianna, security workers widened one of the entrances to make it easier for people to enter and exit the park. They also temporarily shut down the Ferris wheel on Friday due to high winds.
After the fest, Bates and his team focused on Monday night security for the championship game. He said the goal was to let people have fun, but also to keep them safe and make sure they obey the law.
“You’ll see a large contingency of police officers and public safety people in the downtown area, even away from the stadium,” he said Monday afternoon.
JASPER, Ind. (WISH) – A Dubois man was arrested for OWI on Sunday afternoon after driving to and parking his car in the Indiana State Police Post in Jasper.
A police officer thought it suspicious that Jacob A. Zehr II, 41, chose to park in the police parking lot, so around 5:50 p.m. the police officer went to Zehr’s 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier to ask him if he needed assistance.
According to the report, when Zehr was explaining his presence in the parking lot – that he was meeting the mother of his children to drop off his two children – the police officer reported smelling alcohol.
After a short investigation, police found Zehr had a blood alcohol level of .08 percent.
Zehr was arrested and taken to the Dubois County Security Center, and faces possible charges of operating while intoxicated with minor passengers and two counts of neglect of a dependent, all of which are Level 6 felonies.
KNOX COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A Monroe City man was jailed over weekend after he was pulled over and later determined to have a blood alcohol content of nearly twice the legal limit.
It happened Sunday around 12:15 a.m. Police say a trooper stopped the driver of a Ford pickup truck for speeding. When he approached the car, the trooper detected a strong smell of alcohol.
Small amounts of marijuana, meth and drug paraphernalia were found in the car. Police say the driver, 34-year-old Joshua Rickard, was under the influence of methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol.
Rickard’s blood alcohol content was .15 percent. He was arrested and taken to the Knox County Jail where he was released from Monday morning after posting bond. He was preliminarily charged possession of meth, driving while intoxicated, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Due to daylight saving time, alcohol beverage sales are allowed to continue Sunday morning until 4 a.m., according to the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission’s policy.
At 2 a.m. clocks will change to 3 a.m., meaning shops could lose an hour of business. To allow for the same number of hours of service, the commission is allowing alcohol sales on March 8, 2015 to continue to 4 a.m, according to WISH-TV sister station WANE News.
Daylight saving time ends Nov. 1, 2015.
Daylight saving time is observed by most of the United States. Arizona, Hawaii, territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are the few exceptions.